“We didn’t think we might have him for more than two years when it all started. So it wasn’t like we were thinking of this as a four-year deal, either. But he caused us no trouble, he gave us a lot of joys, helped set a couple records.”
Michigan State Head Coach, Tom Izzo
FRESHMAN, MICHIGAN STATE
POWER FORWARD / CENTER
6-10 • 230 lbs. • 7-2 WINGSPAN
Deyonta Davis is a freshman Forward/Center who played for Michigan State, and, like the rest of the players I’ve written about, Davis is younger than me and already going to make more money this upcoming season than I will in the next 20 years combined – which is really uplifting as I sit eating Delimex microwaveable taquitos, listening to Third Eye Blind, and feeling sorry for myself. Often forgot about when compared to other players on the Spartans’ ultra-talented roster, Davis is the best draft prospect out of all of their starters this season.
Davis averaged 7.5 points / 5.5 rebounds / 0.7 assists / 1.8 blocks on 18.6 minutes per game with a PER of 23.9. Part of his appeal is his efficiency on offense; though not very versatile yet, Deyonta shot .598 percent from the field. At 6′ 10″, Davis has good size for a big man, and his 7’2″ wingspan will help on defense when he is put out on the wing to defend smaller players. He also boasted an impressive 19% defensive rebound percentage as well as a 13% offensive rebound percentage, resulting in an elite TRB% of 16.5% (for context, this season Anthony Davis notched 16.8% TRB).
Davis played competent on-ball defense this season. Watch him defend the rim here against then seventh-ranked Maryland: his physical control in keeping his body straight up to avoid a foul call down low speaks volumes about his coached instincts, specifically on the defensive side of the court:
He shows the same skills here as well:
He also has above-average defensive intelligence especially for a player his age, which he demonstrates against Ohio State in a Big 10 conference game:
He truly demonstrated his defensive prowess against Wisconsin SF/PF Nigel Hayes, a Junior known for his savvy offensive skill set. Despite being younger and much less experienced, Davis shut down Hayes to the tune of 1 for 13 for a player who had the previous seven games averaged 20.4 points.
On the other end, Davis’ offensive skill-set has yet to be polished. He only averages about 7.5 ppg – 16.5 when stretched to 40 minutes. For a big man, Davis has very few moves inside and gets most of his points on putbacks or alley-oop dunks. That being said, his athleticism translates well to an uptempo offense, as he runs the floor very well and knows how to fill lanes in transition. Though his skill-set is limited, it translates to a high field-goal percentage.
Deyonta’s offensive game is very much that of a center’s and not of a power forward’s which, in the context of the modern NBA big man, is a definite knock on his projected versatility. He won’t be a guy that a team can put in for scoring at will, but he is, without a doubt, a player that will develop enough of an offensive game over time to be a valuable third-option in scoring. At the very least, I see him being a very productive bench player for a good team in the future.
Keen Draft Profiles Series: